Palindromes (2004) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Aviva is thirteen, awkward and sensitive. Her mother Joyce is warm and loving, as is her father, Steve, a regular guy who does have a fierce temper from time to time. The film revolves around her family, friends and neighbors.

  • A fable of innocence: thirteen-year-old Aviva Victor wants to be a 'mom'. She does all she can to make this happen, and comes very close to succeeding, but in the end her plan is thwarted by her sensible parents. So she runs away, still determined to get pregnant one way or another, but instead finds herself lost in another world, a less sensible one, perhaps, but one pregnant itself with all sorts of strange possibility. She takes a road trip from the suburbs of New Jersey, through Ohio to the plains of Kansas and back. Like so many trips, this one is round-trip, and it's hard to say in the end if she can ever be quite the same again, or if she can ever be anything but the same again.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • In this loose-sequel to 'Welcome to the Dollhouse,' set nine years later, the movie opens with the funeral of 'Dollhouse's' Dawn Weiner. Aviva is her 13-year-old cousin who cannot comprehend why Dawn would have committed suicide because of an unwanted pregnancy because Aviva wants to be impregnated more than anything else. She soon finds a family friend, named Judah, is more than willing to have sex with her. A month later, Aviva's parents, horrified to discover that their daughter has indeed gotten pregnant, force her to get an abortion which, though successful in destroying the unwanted child, also destroys her uterus, rendering Aviva sterile. Only her parents are aware of this however, so Aviva soon runs away from home to find another potential father for her child. She befriends a truck driver named Bob who is willing to have sex with her, despite the fact that she is still a young teenager.

    Bob soon abandons her at a motel and she wanders off into a nearby forest until she is discovered by a boy. The boy invites her to join his family at the Sunshine Family Home, which is a foster home run by fundamentalist Christian extremists. While staying at the home, Aviva discovers that the family is a domestic terrorist group who assassinates abortion doctors and that, by coincidence, the hitman they use is the same truck driver who abandoned Aviva at the motel after having sex with her.

    Aviva joins Bob on his new mission. During the assassination, he accidentally shoots the doctor's young daughter before ultimately killing the doctor himself. The police catch up with Aviva and Bob at a motel, where Bob commits suicide by cop. Aviva is soon returned to her parents.

    The film flashes forward one year later to Aviva's 14th birthday where she talks with Dawn Weiner's older brother, Mark, who has been accused of molesting a baby. He expounds on his philosophy that no one really changes who they are in life, as much as they may try.

    Later, Aviva reconnects with Judah, who now wants to be called Otto, and once again has sex with him. The film ends where it began, with Aviva voicing her optimism that she will finally have a baby, still unaware that she is sterile.

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